Archive for January 5th, 2006

O’Shea & Fletcher Scare Wenger

7 comments January 5th, 2006

If Tuesday night’s match taught us anything, it’s that.

When he feels our midfield is so weak that we need 5 to compete with O’Shea and Fletcher, we’re in big trouble.

In fact, I disagree with Arsene here. I know we’ve had our troubles in that department since Vieira left, but seeing as United themselves were without Smith, Scholes, and of course Keane, I feel we could’ve been brave and attacked them with a 4-4-2. As it was, we went with a tight central 3 and stifled the game into a 0-0 draw.

Robert Pires had a near-post drive tipped away, Cesc Fabregas could’ve won a penalty, and substitute Eboue did well to head away Silvestre’s header late on. It wasn’t a match packed with goal mouth action, and we were also lacking the passion and nigh-violence that has characterised these games in the past. This was partly to do with the absence of Vieira and Keane, but more connected to the lack of any significant prize. Both sides are out of the title race, and they know it.

Kolo Toure was again exemplary, Gilberto got stuck in, and Jose Reyes ran himself into the ground. We were pretty good considering our recent performances, and even Pascal Cygan looked half-decent at left back.

But we still lacked a player with drive and power in our central midfield. We can’t afford to move Kolo from centre-back, but we need someone with very similiar qualities. Whether Alou Diarra is this man or not I don’t know, but Liverpool certainly didn’t think so.

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